St. Mary's College, like every other school in the country, has witnessed the devastating impact of the Coronavarius on their school community.
Since mid-March the hustle and bustle of school life has been necessarily suspended and has been replaced by the clicking of computer keyboards and the new reality of online Teams and Zoom classes.
However the Marist College's T4 teachers; Mr Daniel Murphy, Mr. Grugan and Mr. Morgan have been busy using their technology skills for the greater good over the past number of weekends. While practicing strict social distancing protocols and working different shifts in one of the Technology labs, the three teachers have produced nearly 200 PPE masks for use in the local community.
Department head, Mr. Daniel Murphy, was the brain-child behind the operation. Having witnessed some designs and rawings which were shared on a Technology Forum for teachers, he contacted the College Principal, Mr. Alan Craven to seek support for his initiative.
Sourcing some hard to find flexible sheeting from Cruach Steel in Dublin, the three department colleagues set about designing a prototype guard on the college's Laser Pro cutter. The teachers alternated the weekend days that they would visit the school to cut the shield head pieces and flexi-guard sheets. The face shields were then assembled and tightened using elastic bands at the back of each head piece.
Mr. Murphy explained; 'Having seen a design on an online teacher's forum, I spoke with my department colleagues and we felt it was a project we could complete safely and give something back to the local care homes'.
The face shields were bagged and packaged for delivery to two local care homes in Dundalk Principal Mr. Craven explained; 'We are blessed to have such good facilities in the College and it was a wonderful initiative by the teachers concerned. None of us in Dundalk have been immune to the effects of this horrible virus and it is nice as a college which prides itself on its community spirit, to offer something small yet tangible back to the local community'.
The College are grateful to Mr. Michael Murray, Manager of AIB Dundalk for their kind support and sponsorship of some of the materials involved in the production of the guards.